The Wireless Keyboard 6000 from Microsoft isn’t for someone working in close quarters. The full-sized keyboard is not only ergonomic —- it’s massive. That said, it comes with quite a few useful features that almost make the hugeness worth it.
At a Glance
Ergonomic, quiet keys, numerous dedicated keys
The Bad: They keyboard is gigantic, the USB receiver is gigantic
The term "ergonomic" gets tossed around a lot with keyboards and mice. If a device is ergonomic, it doesn’t always mean it’s comfortable to use. But the 6000, which features the company’s "Comfort Curve" design, fits the bill on both counts. The built-in wrist pad is soft and smooth, and my fingers extended easily between keys.
Speaking of the keys, they also have a cool little feature that Microsoft calls "Quiet Keys." Although speedy typing isn't completely silent, I'd estimate that the annoying clicking sound is cut down by at least half, if not more. It's a great choice for cubicle dwellers.
The 6000 perks up the usual dedicated F1 keys with little pictures of what each key does. (I found this to be a nice touch as I can never remember which key does what.) Its media keys can play, pause, go to the previous and next tracks, and adjust the volume. Other pluses include the dedicated calculator key and a handy zoom in/zoom out button that's placed conveniently on the left side.
Small Desks Beware
The 6000 isn’t only a full-sized keyboard (which means that it has a complete number pad on the right), but it also features a translucent plastic border around the edges. Microsoft added the border for decorative purposes -— and I'll admit that it's stylish —- but it only extends the keyboard’s footprint. When I used the 6000 inside my desk’s keyboard tray, I couldn’t even fit a mousepad next to it. I had to tuck the mousepad beneath the keyboard, which severely limited my mousing area.
In keeping with all things large, the USB receiver follows suit. This isn’t a major drawback since there’s no chance you’ll be using this keyboard as a travel device. But take the receiver’s size into consideration if your USB ports are in the back of your computer and if the computer sits flush against a wall — it may not fit without moving the computer forward a few inches.
The Bottom Line
At $59.95, the Microsoft 6000 isn’t going to break the bank. It’s a comfortable, easy-to-operate wireless keyboard that gets the job done and then some. Just make sure you have the desk space to use it.